- The Sunday Roundtable
- WE ARE YOUNG
WE ARE YOUNG
The Goa Government has made a fine beginning by announcing for the first time a state youth policy to the tap the energies of the youth where 40% of the population is below 35. In this discussion, we speak to three key stakeholders, a political student leader, a BBA college student on the threshold of a career and a hotelier and heritage activist who does has bit to preserve Goa’s heritage and speared awareness about it. They discuss the policy and think of ways to make this a practice
Sujay: Dasha, you are part of the government that tabled the youth policy. Have you read it and what do you make of it?
Dasha: The fact that the government has brought the policy shows that it is interested in the youth. Before this government there has never been an initiative. There was a promise made earlier and this government has stuck to its word. It is in English, Marathi and Konkani and I feel the youth should read it because it will benefit them.
S: Specifically speaking, it is broad based and has important points. But when you go as a young leader to other students why should they be confident about this policy?
D: It is meant to develop the skills, which many Goan youth lack. We have educated youth but this policy states what conferences and seminars are there to develop the skills that the youth want to develop. Hence, I feel it is important.
S: Coming to you, Jack, the policy is new and not many people may have read it. So I will state a few points. It says the energy of the youth - which is 40% of the population - is not tapped by society. The youth does not have a stake in influencing governance which has to change. What is your reaction?
Jack: It is great that the policy has come out. We know that when you are young you have a lot of energy. On an average, the youth are more unreasonable and hungry for change. From what I see there are several good points like exchange programmes, cultural exchanges. But like everything it will be all about implementation.
S: You have been in Goa for some time. I will take a line from the policy which says the youth was not taken as a priority earlier when policies were framed. Looking at the record of past governments is it fair to say that the youth was not a priority?
J: Very fair. If you look what the youth is looking for is employment, to lead their life independently. There is need to create not only highend jobs but also middle level jobs. While this policy comes with a general thrust there are no specifics, which I hope they will have.
S: Coming to you Roshan, you are the actual target of this policy. There are groups targeted in the age group of 15-18, 19-25 and 26-35. Do you fit into one of these brackets and as a college student do you feel your future lies in Goa?
R: When I started my education, I did not go to the Goa board. I did my CBSE up to 12th standard and now I have come to the Goa Board. My parents told me the Goa system is not on par with CBSE and I can see with my friends in college. There is a big difference in how they were educated and how we were. We are more vocal and they are pretty closed in what they do. And they don’t aspire to go higher.
R: They will be students from regional colleges and schools from Goa or even higher secondary schools, pretty famous ones. The trend is that there is no inspiration in the youth. Even in my case I would not do my MBA in Goa unless I get into a GIM, which is pretty good.
S: Do you think of joining governance or joining politics to work in the government. Do you think of bringing a change from within?
R: Of course, yes. I think there are schemes by companies to help young leaders like the program initiated by TOI. So why can’t the government do this? They have not marketed themselves properly and ensure that the youth is part of the decision making program. It was part of the manifesto but not talked about.
S: Jack, this whole thing about promoting nationalist values should be encouraged. However, the government seems to be doing something and the youth something else. What is the bridge?
J: I think we are becoming fairly nationalist and a lot of us are proud of being Indians. There is a down side to it too. You have to realize that not everything in the country may be good and we should realize that when someone criticizes us, we should look at it as positive criticism. As a country, we are more relationship based like taking care of our parents, kinder society. There are a lot of things to be proud of but we should also look at other systems to correct our wrongs.
S: Why don’t we have more MLA’s from the 25-35 age group; more of them in local governance. My question is why the youth connect is not so visible?
J: It has to do with our culture, which is respect based. Maybe the process will take some more take. It will be a good mix.
S: Dasha, you are a politician. Do you aim to be a nation builder or is this a flirtation with politics.
D: To do good for your country one does not have to be a politician. I intend to become a lecturer.
S: Why did you choose to get into politics? I am complimenting you since not many young people get into it.
D: It is interesting and you get to know a lot of things to work for people and understand what they want.
S: what is your vision and road map to ensure that government policies are more youth centric?
D: We as youth should be more positive, get to know this policy that is very important. Why do you have to wait for the government? I feel everyone should take individual responsibility. Why should people always say Goa has no opportunities? One should try finding where one can fit.
S: Jack we will look at solutions now. I think the use of social media is extremely important to reach out to the youth. How do you think social media can be used?
J: Use thrust areas, have groups who will discuss and come out with suggestions and then push it to the government as to what the youth needs and from the government side they should have someone who interacts with the youth on social media. Any policy when it is first drafted it may not be perfect.
S: Roshan, do you think there should be a nodal department in the government for youth which can vet each policy passed to check whether it is youth friendly?
R: I am sure that it will work. The youth needs someone who will represent them. If it is a body fine, but if its individual it is better.
S: Dasha, how can the youth be involved to ensure that policies are youth centric?
D: Like I said before, everyone should take individual responsibility. The government is doing its bit and I think the youth should do their bit too.
S: The government talks about youth state welfare corporation. Goa’s youth data base and zero tolerance to sexual offences, these are big issues. How do you think the youth Body can ensure they are monitored properly? Are you in favor of a nodal agency that acts as a conduit with sections of the youth?
D: Everyone cannot monitor one’s behavior. A person’s mentality, his values and his upbringing is very important.
S: Any famous last words, Jack
J: To quote George Bernard Shaw: The reasonable man adapts himself to the world, the unreasonable man adapts the world to himself, the youth are likely to be unreasonable and they are without the baggage.